Josh Schwartz

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Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz Infobox photo.jpg
Josh Schwartz, 2007
Born Joshua Ian Schwartz
(1976-08-06) August 6, 1976 (age 38)
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Occupation Producer
Screenwriter
Nationality American
Notable works The O.C.
Gossip Girl
Chuck
Spouse Jill Stonerock (2008–present; 1 child)

Joshua Ian "Josh" Schwartz (born August 6, 1976) is an American screenwriter and television producer. Schwartz is best known for creating and executive producing the Fox teen drama series The O.C. Schwartz recently developed The CW's teen drama series Gossip Girl from the Gossip Girl book series, and co-created NBC's action-comedy-spy series, Chuck.

At 26, he became one of the youngest people in network history to create a network series and run its day-to-day production when he ran The O.C. He currently resides in Los Angeles.[1]

Early life[edit]

Schwartz was born in 1976 in Providence, Rhode Island to Jewish parents: Steve and Honey Schwartz. His parents were both toy inventors at Hasbro, working on the development of toys such as Transformers and My Little Pony, until they went on to start their own company.[2][3] Schwartz grew up on the East side of Providence, Rhode Island with a younger brother, Danny, and a younger sister, Katie.[4][5] Schwartz always had ambitions of being a writer since early childhood.[6] When Schwartz was seven years old, he won an essay-writing contest at sleep-away camp for a review of the recently released movie Gremlins; the opening line was "Spielberg has done it again" and stood out amongst the pile of essays from the other kids.[7] He even had a subscription to the entertainment industry newspaper Variety at age twelve.[8] He attended Providence's private Wheeler School, a coeducational independent day school, for 11 years, graduating with the class of 1994.[4][9]

I was in fourth grade, back in 1986 or '87, and I was at my first concert: Huey Lewis and the News at the Worcester Centrum. It's not the coolest story in the world. I was standing on my seat, on the tip of my feet, and Huey made like he had fake binoculars to scope out the audience. Then he pointed at me and said, 'This song is dedicated to that little guy right there.' It was "The Power of Love". That kicked it all off for me right there.

—Josh Schwartz, on music.[10]

Film school[edit]

In 1995, Schwartz realized his boyhood dream of attending film school to study screen and television writing at the University of Southern California. He became a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, as well as president of the chapter, and got to see what it's like "behind the gated communities and big mansions" of Southern California which would later provide fodder for his pilot The O.C.[11][12] He was an outsider, and met many kids from Newport Beach.[13] While at USC, Schwartz tried out stand-up comedy at a talent show in front of five hundred people but was "disabused of [the] notion very quickly."[14]

In his sophomore year he wrote an autobiographical screenplay about his senior year in high school called Providence as a homework assignment for school. He entered his screenplay into a contest for the prestigious Nicholson Award in Screenwriting, the highest honor awarded to undergraduates, and won. Unfortunately, the prize was quickly revoked; to be eligible he had to be in his junior year at the time. Schwartz says "I dropped it in a box – I was a sophomore. And I got a call over the summer saying I'd won, and I'd won five thousand dollars. I was like, "This is awesome!" Then they called back, like, the next day and said you had to be a junior to enter and not a sophomore, so they were rescinding it. I was pretty pissed."[15] Nevertheless, with help from connections through his fraternity, he generated interest in Hollywood to buy his screenplay.[16] In 1997, Sony's TriStar Pictures bought his first screenplay in a bidding war for a deal guaranteeing $550,000 and worth up to $1 million while he was still a junior in college. It was never made.[17]

Schwartz got an agent and subsequently wrote a TV pilot called Brookfield for ABC/Disney while he was still studying at USC. It was a boarding school drama about wealthy kids in New England and was his first TV pilot script; it sold only a few months after he had sold his first feature film script.[7] Brookfield was produced starring Amy Smart and Eric Balfour but never aired. Schwartz then dropped out of USC to work full-time[2][16] and wrote another pilot called Wall to Wall Records, a drama about working in a music store for Warner Bros. TV that was also produced but never aired.[18]

Career[edit]

The O.C. (2003–07)[edit]

Main article: The O.C.

In 2003, Schwartz wrote a pilot called The O.C. for Warner Bros. TV and Wonderland Sound and Vision which was produced with him as creator and executive producer. At 26 he was the youngest ever creator of a TV show, which did not sit well with Fox executives who sent a series of seasoned pros armed with conventional ideas about how to steer the show and a bitterness about sharing control with someone so young. That changed when Bob DeLaurentis signed on, a TV veteran who proved to be a nurturing presence on the show.[7] Schwartz and Bob DeLaurentis collaborated on supervising and approving the editors' work on each episode in post-production.[19]

The O.C. became an instant teen favorite when it debuted on the Fox Network in August 2003. The show popularized its setting, Orange County, and led to copycats like MTV's reality show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County and the Bravo documentary series The Real Housewives of Orange County.[20] The show became well known for its music, chosen by Schwartz according to his own musical tastes and designed to reflect who the characters were, bringing the general public an awareness of indie rock bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Bloc Party and Rooney.[10] He has said that he partially based The O.C. character Seth Cohen on his own Jewish upbringing.[21][22] Schwartz was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for the pilot[23] as well as a People's Choice Award. The O.C. was named "Guilty Pleasure of the Year" by VH1. In 2007, after 4 seasons The O.C. was canceled due to a significant ratings drop.[24]

Schwartz has stayed in touch with his alma maters: The Wheeler School and USC. In 2005, he endowed USC with its first television writing scholarship: The Josh Schwartz Scholarship. The scholarship is intended to be awarded annually to a student or students concentrating on writing for television and in need of financial assistance, who have completed a TV pilot script and first season synopsis.[25] Although Schwartz never graduated from USC he has since worked with many USC alumni.[11] In 2005 he gave a commencement speech to The Wheeler School.[4]

Schwartz has worked on his share of stalled projects. In 2004, he worked as a script doctor on the J. J. Abrams Superman screenplay that Warner Bros. eventually tossed.[26][27] He sold a pilot to Fox called Alphabet City, a drama about a New York tabloid but it was never produced.[28] He also worked on a drama for Fox called Athens described as an "OC" companion but it was never produced. According to the futon critic, Athens will explore the intertwined lives and loves of the fictional New England community of Athens, home to a prestigious university that acts as a dividing line between the rich outsiders who study and teach there, and the local townies who serve that population. Viewers will enter this world through the friendship of Jed Hall, a young English professor, and Ethan Frost, an 18-year-old freshman whose arrival changes the dynamics for everyone in Athens. Like Ryan and Seth on "The O.C.," Jed and Ethan will become unlikely partners in an alliance that will forever change them and the people of this town.[29][30]

Recent projects (2007–present)[edit]

Josh Schwartz at Comic-Con in July 2007

In 2005, Paramount signed Schwartz to adapt and direct John Green's young adult novel Looking for Alaska with producer Mark Waters.[31]

It was revealed in late August 2006 that Schwartz would develop and executive produce a drama pilot for The CW, based on the popular book series Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar.[32] Like The O.C., Gossip Girl is a satirical approach of teenagers in a wealthy upbringing. Gossip Girl has become a very popular show for The CW.

In 2007, Schwartz signed a three-year, seven-figure overall deal with Warner Bros. TV to write and exec produce with Chris Fedak an hourlong high-concept action comedy called Chuck for NBC about twenty-something spies and was described in press releases as "in the vein of Grosse Pointe Blank". The plot revolves around a normal guy who downloads the entire CIA and NSA databases into his head.[33]

In May 2008, Schwartz joined Zak Penn's X-Men: First Class project.[34] Schwartz announced that he will write the script for X-Men: First Class, a prequel to the X-Men movies that focuses on the adventures of teen Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Professor X, Beast, Iceman, and Angel.[35] However, his script was later jettisoned.[36]

In Spring 2009, Schwartz launched "Rockville CA", a web-series on TheWB.com that follows young 20-somethings at a fictional rock club in Los Angeles.[37] There are twenty indie band performances in the episodes, including Lykke Li, The Kooks and Kaiser Chiefs.[38]

It was also announced that Schwartz would write and direct Bright Lights, Big City for MGM, based on the iconic debut novel by Jay McInerney. Stephanie Savage was also announced as producer.

In February 2011, The CW ordered a pilot of his new project titled Hart of Dixie.[39] The show is co-produced with longtime creative partner Stephanie Savage and stars former "O.C." castmember and personal friend of Schwartz, Rachel Bilson.[40] The show was picked up in May 2011 and premiered in fall 2011. At the same time, Schwartz has also been working on a Georgetown pilot for ABC[41] However, ABC did not pick the series for its 2011 - 2012 schedule.

In September 2011, it was announced by The CW that Schwartz and Stephanie Savage had been selected to develop the television adaption of Candace Bushnell's The Carrie Diaries, a prequel to the original Sex and the City television series.[42] The series, set in the 1980s, will follow character Carrie Bradshaw during her years in high school.

In January 2012, it was announced The CW had ordered a pilot for new drama titled Cult, result of collaboration with Stephanie Savage and Len Goldstein.[43] This is Schwartz and Savage's fourth series on the network.

Personal life[edit]

On September 20, 2008, Schwartz married Jill Stonerock in Santa Barbara, California. Actress Rachel Bilson, who portrayed Summer Roberts on Schwartz's show The O.C., was the maid of honor at the wedding. The couple had their first child in 2012. Schwartz and Stonerock made Rachel Bilson the godmother.

Filmography[edit]

Crew[edit]

Film
Year Film Distributor Credit Notes
1997 Providence Unproduced Writer Unproduced film, developed for TriStar Pictures
2004 Superman: Flyby Unproduced Script doctor Unproduced film, developed for Warner Bros.;
Directed by McG
2012 Fun Size Paramount Pictures Director and producer Produced by Fake Empire Productions
Television
Year Title Network Credit Notes
2000 Brookfield Unaired Creator, writer and producer Unaired television pilot;
Produced by ABC/Disney
2001 Wall to Wall Records Unaired Creator, writer and producer Unaired television pilot;
Produced by Warner Bros. Television
2003–2007 The O.C. Fox Series creator;
Writer and executive producer
Nominated – 2004 WGA Award for Episodic Drama (for "Premiere")
2004 Alphabet City Unproduced Creator, writer and producer Unproduced television pilot;
Sold to and developed for Fox
Athens Unproduced Creator, writer and producer Unproduced television pilot;
Sold to and developed for Fox
2007–2012 Chuck NBC Series co-creator;
Writer and executive producer
2007–2012 Gossip Girl The CW Series co-creator;
Writer and executive producer
Based on the Gossip Girl series of books by Cecily von Ziegesar
2009 Valley Girls The CW Series co-creator;
Writer and executive producer
Backdoor pilot: series not picked up;
Proposed spin-off to Gossip Girl
2011 Ghost Angeles[44] NBC Series co-creator;
Writer and executive producer
Series not picked up [45]
2011 Georgetown[46] ABC Series co-creator;
Writer and executive producer
Series not picked up
2011–present Hart of Dixie[45][47] The CW Executive producer
2013–2014 The Carrie Diaries The CW Executive producer Based on the novel The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell;
Prequel series to HBO's Sex and the City
2013 Cult The CW Executive producer One season: 13 episodes
2015 Astronaut Wives Club ABC Executive producer Based on Lily Koppel's novel.[48]
Internet
Year Title Site Credit Notes
2009 Rockville, CA TheWB.com Series creator;
Writer and executive producer
Web series

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Fleming (2005-11-03). "Endeavor trio partner up: Agency ups Donnelly, Hodes, Wiczyk". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  2. ^ a b Hadley Freeman (2005-01-22). "The man behind the OC". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  3. ^ Michael Elkin. ""On the Scene": "The O.C."". The Jewish Exponent (Philadelphia). Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  4. ^ a b c Andy Smith (2005-06-10). "People: O.C. creator to speak at Wheeler, his alma mater". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  5. ^ Engelberg, Keren (2003-10-31). "Young Creator Spells Success ‘O.C.’". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  6. ^ Curt Schleier (2004-03-19). "Charmed life: Young writer’s made it big with Fox hit". The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  7. ^ a b c Ari Posner (2004-03-21). "'The O.C.' Rewrites the Rules of TV Writing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-08. [dead link]
  8. ^ Deborah Solomon (2007-10-14). "Questions for Josh Schwartz: Gossip Guy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  9. ^ Richard Asinof (2005-06-15). "For Producer of Hit Show "The O.C.," Jewish Background Is Fertile Ground". JTA.Org. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  10. ^ a b Josef Adalian (2005-02-10). "The DJ of 'The O.C.': Show creator's musical taste guides skein". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  11. ^ a b Kim Holmes (2004-04-22). "Schwartz struts his stuff on 'O.C.'". Daily Trojan. Retrieved 2007-01-07. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Josh Schwartz, Creator/Executive Producer of The OC". BuddyTV. 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  13. ^ Libby Slate (2005). "The OC revealed". Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  14. ^ Charlie Rose (interviewer) (November 22, 2004). The Charlie Rose Show: A Conversation with Josh Schwartz (Flash) (Television production). Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  15. ^ Molly Shalgos (May 2004). "Schwartz uses youth to his advantage…A look behind The O.C.". Lumino Magazine. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  16. ^ a b Cynthia Littleton (2003-08-04). "Young Hollywood guns flex primetime muscle". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2007-01-07. [dead link]
  17. ^ Michael Fleming (1997-12-15). "Big Journey at WB; Foster exits 'Double'". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  18. ^ "The O.C.". Fox61tv.com. Retrieved 2007-01-04. [dead link]
  19. ^ The OC Show - OC News Articles
  20. ^ Suzanne C. Ryan (2006-10-29). "Once hot, 'O.C.' now struggles". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  21. ^ "Schwartz still likes hanging in ‘The O.C.’". MSNBC.com. 2006-03-29. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  22. ^ Irina Aleksander (2008-09-02). "Gossip Girl's Josh Schwartz Doesn't Have a Problem With Racy Ads, or Jay McInerney". New York Observer. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  23. ^ "56th Annual Writers Guild Awards -- Television and Radio Nominees Announced". 2004. Retrieved 2007-01-07. [dead link]
  24. ^ Michael Schneider (2007-01-03). "Fox bids farewell to 'The OC'". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  25. ^ "The OC" Creator Josh Schwartz Endows Inaugural Scholarship for Television Writing Students at USC School of Cinema-Television". USC School of Cinematic Arts. Archived from the original on 2006-12-04. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  26. ^ Cathy Dunkley, Michael Fleming (2004-07-18). "Supe's on with 'X' man: Singer flies with pic". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  27. ^ Michael Fleming, Cathy Dunkley (2004-06-16). "'Superman' back in orbit: Moritz, Adler in negotiations to produce". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  28. ^ Horn, John (March 21, 2004). "He's 'O.C.'s' fresh breeze: Infusing it with sly wit and detail, creator Josh Schwartz has raised the Fox drama above its prime-time soap trappings". Los Angeles Times through LexisNexis Academic. Retrieved on August 15, 2007.
  29. ^ Josef Adalian, Michael Schneider (2004-05-18). "Fox turning a triple play: Hit trio fields new timeslots". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  30. ^ Daniel Robert Epstein. "Josh Schwartz of The O.C. Interview". UnderGroundOnline. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  31. ^ Dave McNary (2005-07-18). "Par, Schwartz bake 'Alaska':'OC' creator 'Looking' for Paramount project". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  32. ^ Michael Schneider; Josef Adalian (2007-01-03). "CW gives Schwartz some good news: 2nd pilot picked up for show creator". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  33. ^ Josef Adalian (2006-09-14). "Networks return to pilot parade: ABC aligned with Mimoun; NBC nabs Schwartz project". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  34. ^ "Young X-Men Get Gossip Girl Scribe?". Superhero Hype!. 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  35. ^ MARC GRASER, TATIANA SIEGEL (November 18, 2008). "Fox, Josh Schwartz mutate 'X-Men'". Variety. 
  36. ^ Kit, Borys (2009-12-21). "Heat Vision Q&A: Bryan Singer on 'X-Men: First Class,' 'Avatar' and more". Heat Vision. Retrieved 2010-04-26. [dead link]
  37. ^ [1]
  38. ^ Karpel, Ari (2009-03-15). "Welcome to the Net, Mr. 'OC'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  39. ^ Bricker, Tierney (February 1, 2011). "The CW orders four pilots, including new Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage project". Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  40. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 8, 2011). "Rachel Bilson To Star In The CW's Dixie Pilot". Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  41. ^ De Moraes, Lisa. Can 'Georgetown' bring a bit of the 'O.C.' to D.C.? Washington Post, February 3, 2011.
  42. ^ ‘The Carrie Diaries’ Now Officially At CW With ‘Gossip Girl’ Producers On Board, Deadline, September 11, 2011
  43. ^ Rose, Lacey (January 4, 2012). "CW Orders Crime Drama Pilot from 'Gossip Girl's' Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 6, 2012. 
  44. ^ [2]
  45. ^ a b [3]
  46. ^ De Moraes, Lisa (2011-02-03). "Can 'Georgetown' bring a bit of the 'O.C.' to D.C.?". The Washington Post. 
  47. ^ [4]
  48. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "ABC Space Age Drama 'Astronaut Wives Club' Gets 10-Episode Order For Summer". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 

Further information[edit]

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